Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 19/05/2015
1. Maersk MOL and MSC – 3M Deal
Maersk Line announced today it has entered into Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL) on the Asia to East Coast of South America trade. 22 vessels will serve two loops between the regions. MSC and Maersk Line will each operate six, 9,000 TEU vessels on Loop 1 and MOL will operate ten vessels of 5,500 TEUs on Loop 2. Asia to the East Coast of South America is a key route for the transport of electronics and automobile parts, says Maersk Line. The route also facilitates protein exports from the East Coast of South America to Asia.
2. CMA CGM 400% Profit Leap
French CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container line, recorded a 419 percent increase in net profit and a 10.5 percent increase in volumes handled in the first quarter of 2015. The line ended the first quarter of 2015 with USD 406 million of consolidated net profit, a sharp increase compared to a USD 97 million net profit recorded for the same period a year earlier. CMA CGM handled 3.1 million TEUs during the given period, and the rise was attributed to the increase in volumes on the East-West lines, particularly to and from the US, where volumes enjoyed sustained growth, and also from the launch of the Ocean Three Alliance.
3. Shipowners Welcome Environment Progress
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has welcomed the progress made by the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) on several important environmental issues. While the Ballast Water Convention has still not entered into force progress made by IMO to address various implementation problems identified by ICS should help bring the Convention into force sooner rather than later, ICS fears that the unilateral stance taken at the meeting by the United States may actually have the opposite effect. ICS believes that shipowners can now have increased confidence that, early adopters will not be unfairly penalised.
4. EU Working Toward Seafarer Protection
EU Council, the European Parliament’s Employment Committee and European Commission recently met in trialogue on 6 May and reached an agreement on the Commission’s proposal for a Directive on seafarers’ exclusions. A compromise text for a new directive to increase protection of seafarers’ labour rights was confirmed by the Council’s Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper). EP Rapporteur Elisabeth Morin-Chartier (EPP, France) said: “The new directive will respect a clear balance between the inherent special features of this professional sector and the high importance to ensure equal treatment for seafarers. http://goo.gl/X10SJw
5. VLCC Rates Rising
West African VLCC rates have risen to the highest level in 2015 on the back of a heavy flow of cargoes in multiple regions. The key WAF-Far East route, basis 260,000 mt, was assessed Worldscale 2.5 higher at w72.5 Friday, which equates to $28.70/mt. This is the highest assessment since December 17’s $29.30/mt. On the fixture front, Day Harvest was heard to have placed the Hua San on subjects at w72.5 for a WAF-China voyage loading June 14. The primary driver of the rising rates has been a large number of cargoes entering the market in the Persian Gulf, the Caribbean and the US Gulf.
6. Change in the air for Charterparty Disputes
Defaulting charterers and late payment of hire would normally cause ship owners to consider terminating the charterparty and pursue a claim for damages, which, would, in general, be assessed by reference to the difference between the market and charterparty rate of hire for the unexpired term of the charterparty. However, the requirements for the award of such damages are currently the subject of conflicting Commercial Court judgments. It is to be seen whether a Court of Appeal judgment will shed some light on the issue, but until then ship owners have to consider the possible implications of Spar Shipping before terminating.
7. St Lawrence Shut After Grounding
A section of the Saint Lawrence Seaway was shut down this weekend following the grounding of a Canadian-flagged bulk carrier. The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) reported that the gearless bulk carrier MV Algoma Spirit, carrying a cargo of grain, ran aground Saturday at approximately 4:00 p.m. in Canadian waters east of the Seaway International Bridge in Cornwall, Ontario. The grounding forced the suspension of commercial navigation for “Sector 2″. The vessel was refloated and was escorted by two tugs to the St.-Zotique Anchorage for further inspection and investigation by Transport Canada.
8. Vessel Detained After Violations
The U.S. Coast Guard has detained the Panama-flagged bulk carrier Ikan Sudip after an inspection in Astoria, Oregon revealed significant environmental and safety violations. Vessel inspectors from the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit (MSU) in Portland discovered the discrepancies during an inspection of the 600-foot vessel, which was built in 2004. “The Ikan Sudip’s safety and environmental conditions posed an unacceptable threat to our waterways,” said Capt. Dan Travers, Coast Guard Sector Columbia River Commanding Officer and captain of the port for Oregon and Southern Washington.
9. Long Term View Needed on Crews
Shipping needs to think more long term when it comes to crewing, says Neil Carrington, chief executive of HR specialist Confiànce Employment Services (CES). “When it comes to the crew,” Carrington says, “owners and managers have to get away from the year end bottom line and view the longer term where the real savings of efficient crew management are to be seen.” He goes on to warn that while crew costs may look like a big number, cutting them doesn’t necessarily represent a big saving and can be “an expensive false economy”. Carrington believes the trend to outsource total crew management will continue to grow.
10. Flag Embraces New Technology
The Liberian Registry has developed a unique satellite-based Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) which has helped ensure regulatory compliance and prevent detentions in some of the world’s most active Port State Control (PSC) areas. In the process, it has contributed to Liberia being named as the best-performing major ship registry worldwide over the last three years, a period during which it has featured on all PSC White Lists and has been included in the prestigious US Qualship 21 programme. The Paris Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) confirm that Liberia had the best detention rate amongst the largest major flag states.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd C providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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